What does the H.E.M.P. Purchasing team look for while shopping the i502 market?
Recently, the High End Market Place purchasing team hit the road once again in search of some exotic cannabis strains to add to our cache of the highest quality flower. Along the way, we visited three recreational cannabis grow operations for the first time, bringing the total to 162 growers that we have visited on our hunt for the best cannabis products that Washington has to offer. We also stopped in at with our friends Xtracted to learn about which new flavors are coming and what we can expect coming from them in 2018. Needless to say, we are excited about the latest and greatest that the market has to offer. In other words, that “NEW new.”
High End Market Place has a very specific buying process that requires us to be on the road consistently to visit and revisit cannabis grows. First we find a cannabis producer that provides a product that might fit our shelves. We then request samples. When they arrive, we closely examine each sample to make sure that the product reaches our very high standards.
Every product must fulfill 3 basic, yet fundamental requirements:
- Cannabis Appearance (It MUST be visibly appealing!) Is it frosty? Good plant structure? Quality packaging? Appropriate labeling? Does it look like the best product it could be? If it has “purple” in the name, does it actually have some purple in the flowers?
- Cannabis Flavor (It MUST taste good!) Does the flavor match the description? Does it taste how it’s supposed to taste? Does the flavor last throughout the burn process? Is it cured properly? Does it burn clean down to white ash? Does the edible taste “weedy” or “grassy”? Can you feel/taste the potency as you consume it? Can you taste the nutrients, sprays, or grow medium as the end user?
- Cannabis Smell (It MUST have the right funk!) Does the smell match the description? Does the smell remain all the way to the end consumer? Is the packaging helping or hurting the preservations of flavor and cure? Does it have the scent that we associate with the strain?
On this buying trip we found three producers that met all three of these requirements! That is a very rare thing, as we only choose to work with around 10% of the producers that we visit. This weed scouting trip was dedicated to filling the top shelf with a some new and exciting flavors and producers from Seattle and beyond.
Our first stop was at Seattle medical marijuana legends, Fire Bros. This fabled cannabis producer’s entrance into the i502 recreational cannabis market has been long awaited by those who know fine cannabis. As originators of amazing phenotypes of strains such as Blueberry Pancakes, Ewok (Cannabis Cup Winner), Elmer’s Glue, God’s Gift and White Widow. While we were there they showed us some top secret “new new” coming out of their amazing pheno hunting adventures. We are sure that these new strains will please any cannabis connoisseur, especially because these flavors are unavailable anywhere else in the legal weed marketplace.
Our next stop was with at a processing facility in south Seattle. There are some very restrictive zoning laws in Washington that force cannabis businesses to cluster together. This building was an extreme example of that. In one building we counted two cannabis retail stores, and no fewer than three cannabis processors. The building isn’t that large, meaning that it’s probably one of the densest concentrations of cannabis businesses anywhere in the state and a great place to get introduced to new processors.
We went there to meet another group of Seattle medical legends, Nebula Gardens. We didn’t get to see their grow facility, but it was important for us to meet them and see how they process and handle their cannabis products. We were also able to get some samples of some amazing flowers and pre-rolls, and check out great looking oil collabs that they have done with Xtracted Labs.
We love what Nebula Gardens is doing, and we can’t wait to visit their farm to really see how these masters of ganja create the magic. You can look forward to high end cannabis products from this farm coming to HEMP in the near future, especially as they expand their production facilities to provide greater supply. Finally, we stopped in at a couple of the other processors in the building to get a peek at what they’re working on.
Last stop on our trip was to a like minded store, Clutch Cannabis, in Seattle. They were the lucky recipients of one of the first drops from the multiple cannabis cup winning breeder Exotic Genetics. We are on the hunt for some of those Exotic Genetics flavors, and we will let you folks know as soon as we lock something down!